Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fruits of the Earth

 Earth Spirit
Earth Day, 2017
—Poems by D.R. Wagner, Locke, CA
—Anonymous Visuals Courtesy of D.R. Wagner



Night decides to take over the conversation.
The shadows stir, the spiders begin
Their spinning toward the dawn.

Spring begins its work toward those
Seasons it will never see.  The exuberance
Of buds and bright flowers, the dazed
Spinning of elm seeds through the green
Air.  Soon there will be no room upon
The ground, for all will be growing.

We do not wait.  We dig the soil, find
The seeds of plants we want to see
In particular, begin the garden rituals.
We too become fruits of the earth,
Laboring toward the harvest, privileged
To entertain the dance through all the seasons.

The morning excuses itself from the night.
The night pales before her great might,
Calls the dark spider back to itself
And bides until the story changes once again.

 Girl With Watering Cans


I am watching the evening insinuate itself
Into the conversation about the day.
Dinner time had no mention of her, there
Were still doves admiring the liquidambar trees.

The weather wanted to see things differently,
Clearing, then a haze and a confusion of cloud
Types culminating in a less than enthusiastic
Fury as the sun relinquished its part in the conversation.

The path went from the beach up a small creek,
But as it did, there were lots of trees in the canyon
Holding the creek.  Shadows were setting up
Night camps and small birds sought perches

To watch the show.  We watched the foot
Bridges ease into the landscape like rainbows that
Had lost their color and were waiting for the
Flare that would say evening was indeed here.

I will stand here until it is impossible to tell
One object from another.  There is little hope for
The moon tonight.  The evening begins to cup
The sun in its hands and starts to hide

It from view.  Why even talk about a landscape
Except that we remember the others who are
Unable to see this evening, who climb to sleep
Without these blessed thresholds to touch them.

Every leaf on every tree closes its lights down
And cries for us to remember it, stores the moment,
Blesses us with change, holds the dark off for a
Final moment and considers the entire world as one thing.


The darkness comes to my window.
Gazes in at me sitting with my hands
Clasped as if I were praying.  It doesn’t
Know what to say.

I dwell here now, where the sea has voices.
I am able to wear snow as a garment that moves
In swirls around my body.  I can be seen in the twilight.
I move like a samba.  I move like a tango.
I move like light on the river.
I have the memories of trees.
I am a gigantic sleep.
I call you with the high sounds of birds.

My lips speak the white verbs of the sky.
I lift stones that the sun may touch all things.
I am able to hear, to hear your voice calling
From sleep.  That which is real are the green
Chords lovers carry in their hearts.
I remind all with wave after wave
That will be your feeling as you pass
The gateposts to a city reaching ever higher.

There is never a need to touch me. 
I look out my window as the sudden rush
Water makes when it insists on being heard.
I give you the seasons as if this were my prayer.  


The idea of a black bird flying
Over a landscape of doors.
Everyone listening to the darkness
Owned by time and pressed into
A single voice that repeats a blur of oceans.

One is reminded of love.  A thick kind of moonlight
One is permitted to walk beneath, feeling with
The transparency that comes as memory removes
Its ways we preferred to use to recall the intimacy of touch.
A flicker across the tops of ocean waves, revealing nothing.

The mouth is spent recalling what was spoken in
Deepest ecstasy and discarded in the morning
As part of dreamt parable, no longer useful to anyone.

I untie my shoes and remove them.  My feet
No longer work well enough to get very far
Ahead of the broken parts.  I gather their shapes
Through a deep action of my will.  A voice whispers
To me that if I am lucky, I will not awaken.  I awaken.



We most remember the incidental music
Written by Schubert, but she still lurks
Long after the play has died.  She remains
A princess and holds Schubert’s hand,
Forever unable to let go, less all the magic cease.

The day has barely dawned and already I fear
The blue of a morning that will bring a poison
To the fragile skeleton that threatens to keep
Our princess away from her promised life.

We have never seen the play.  What remains
Is beyond words.  It holds our imagination.
When given the mirror, the silver falls away…

Only the spirit grieves.  We begin the dance.
The body offers its lips.  We ascend the throne.
I ask you to dance.  We are given a black wolf
To make of it what we will…   Our own Rosamunde.  


Headline: “A crystal box filled with music, c. 1000 A.D.”

The sound would be lost
At once were the box opened.
It is impossible to record the music.
It seems to create an empathy
In the listener as a Paraclete would.

For each listener, called ‘voicers’
By those who study this event,
The experience of the music
Is significantly different.

This is known:  The music
Is always melodic, memorably
So.  Rhythm is patterned.
Certain passages repeat themselves,
Yet, this is extremely rare.

Oftentimes the music generates
Usually abstract visual information,
But also occasional narrative, as in myth.

Animals, from insects to birds,
Mammals, reptiles, amphibians, seem
To hear these sounds with ease.
They oftentimes pay long attention to
The sound.  All have been seen moving
To the rhythms seemingly generated by it.

Some researchers believe particular
Mating behaviors in many species
Have been initiated or changed by
Exposure to this music.  Much more
Research is necessary to prove this.

It is said that people who have encountered
This phenomenon have recorded their names
In a document upon doing so.  This document,
While testified to, has never been verified.

The box has moved frequently
Since its discovery.  It is liable to appear
Almost anywhere.  It has been seen and
Heard off the Australian Great Barrier Reef
As well as in the Himalayas and the jungles of
Peru, Southeast Asia and South America.

No one knows how the box comes to
Move or where it may appear.
Its appearance has always had the quality
Of a mystical event about it.
In the past seventy years it has been seen
Very infrequently and very briefly.

One other box was known and was opened.
It shattered immediately and caused great
Disturbances in the Earth’s
Magnetic fields and impressive light patterns
In the ion layers of the atmosphere.

Its existence is usually denied except
In poetry and certain fairy tales.

If you encounter this box, contact
Creatures that sing or listen to
Recreate your own experience
That others may know these songs.

 Vegetable People

Today’s LittleNip:
—D.R. Wagner

Focus shifts so easily.
This morning
I was looking at an iris, newly opened.
It seemed the most beautiful of things.
Now I look up to see you walking into
The garden.
It seems the most beautiful of things.


—Medusa, with thanks to D.R. Wagner for today’s poetry and visuals on this Earth Day, 2017!
Note that there is a new photo album on Medusa's Facebook page, this one by Katy Brown of last Saturday's Sacramento Voices reading. Check it out at

And yesterday's Sacramento Bee had an article about Mahogany Urban Poetry Series and other Sacramento readings: go to

 Celebrate Poetry! And don’t forget Amy Rogers 
at Writers on the Air at Sac Poetry Center today, 
beginning at 10am, or the Arts in Nature Festival in 
Georgetown, beginning at 9am (poetry at 11), or
the Q&A with April Ossmann, hosted by Kate Asche
beginning at 1:30pm in Kate’s downtown studio. 
Scroll down to the blue column (under the green 
column at the right) for info about these and other 
upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that 
more may be added at the last minute.


Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.